Running a Successful Mitten Business with Her Own Two Hands | Made in America Ep 2

Running a Successful Mitten Business with Her Own Two Hands | Made in America Ep 2

Follow Susan Clayton’s entrepreneurial journey as she starts a gear brand in Baltimore and ensures the operations continue to run smoothly despite big challenges. Brought to you by GoDaddy. Watch all episodes of Made in America:

Inspired by her experiences as a running coach for an organization called Back on My Feet, Susan Clayton knitted mittens designed specifically to help runners keep their hands warm during the intense winters of Baltimore. With this game-changing product she created, coined WhitePaws RunMitts, Susan’s natural entrepreneurial sense led her to get it patented — just in case. Even after finally getting the patent approved (after three years!), she still received countless rejections from wholesale retailers. But after the George Floyd Movement, the influx of support for Black-owned businesses paved the way for RunMitts to get featured in a publication by Outdoor Retailer — which then led to REI giving her a call to carry her product in a few of their stores. After a sell-out success, this exciting opportunity propelled her business forward even more when REI expanded their ask, putting RunMitts on the shelves in 80 stores. However, supply chain issues and the lack of capital to purchase all the fabric she needed to fulfill demand caused some major barriers. In a last-ditch effort to get more funding, she entered the local Crab Tank pitch competition and (despite her feelings of failure during a nerve-racking presentation), she won the competition with emotional relief knowing it would help keep her business dreams possible.

Stay tuned for episode 3 where Tyron and April Harper tell their story of running a family-owned business and overcoming multiple obstacles along the way.

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Just 1% of Black business owners obtain business loans in their first year. 61% of Black women self-fund their total startup capital. (The Brookings Institution, December 2020,; Harvard Business Review, May 2021,

Title IX is a law enacted in 1972 prohibiting sex-based discrimination in federally funded schools. (U.S. Department of Education,

Since Title IX, female participation in high school sports has increased over 1,000%. (Forbes, May 2022,

Learn more about Susan Clayton / WhitePaws RunMitts:

A special thank you to our partners:
Baltimore Homecoming:
Back on My Feet:

Additional footage provided by:
Wide Angle Media:

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